The ASCLA Guide to Policies and Procedures can be accessed online by using the numbered links at the left-hand side of this page.
In 1977 two ALA divisions, the American Association of State Library Agencies (founded in 1957) and the Health and Rehabilitative Library Services Division (founded in 1956 as the Association of Hospital and Institution Libraries) merged and became the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA). The independent librarians joined ASCLA in 1998 when their ALA round table, Independent Librarians’ Exchange Round Table (ILERT) voted to merge with the division. (See the list of 1978-2007 ASCLA presidents and councilors.)
Introduction to Policies and Procedures
Congratulations on being elected or appointed to a leadership position in ASCLA! This Guide is intended to serve as a general introduction to the organization, procedures and policies of ASCLA. We hope this information will help you function effectively in ASCLA. In addition to reviewing the information in the guide, you may also want to consult the ALA Handbook of Organization. Please contact the ASCLA office if you have any questions. We're here to serve you!
Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795
Toll Free: 1-800-545-2433. If you are calling from a touch-tone phone, after the automated attendant answers, you may press these extension numbers to reach:
4398 ASCLA Marketing Specialist
4395 ASCLA Executive Director
4397 ASCLA Web Program Officer
Direct Dialing: 1-312-280 + extension for person named above.
Fax: (312) 280-5273
The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies enhances the development and effectiveness of library service through its diverse professional and service constituencies including state library agencies, specialized library agencies, library organizations and independent librarians.
ASCLA is a community that focuses on evolving issues that cut across library boundaries. Emphasizing the future, ASCLA supports individuals in their personal development and career growth.
The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies represents state library agencies, specialized library agencies, all library cooperatives, and independent librarians.
State library agencies are those organizations created or authorized by the state government to promote library services in the state through the organization and coordination of a variety of library services.
Specialized library agencies are those organizations that provide materials and services to meet the information needs of persons whose access to library services and materials is limited because of confinement, sensory, mental, physical, health, or behavioral conditions.
Library cooperatives are combinations, mergers, or contractual associations of two or more types of libraries (academic, public, special, or school) crossing jurisdictional, institutional, or political boundaries, working together to achieve maximum effective use of funds to provide library and informational services to all persons above and beyond those that can be provided through one institution. Such cooperative agencies may be designed to serve a community, a metropolitan area, a region within a region, or may serve a statewide or multistate area.
Independent librarians are library service providers who work outside of traditional library settings.
Within the interests of these types of library organizations, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies has specific responsibility for:
- Development and evaluation of goals and plans for state library agencies and all library cooperatives to facilitate the implementation, improvement, and extension of library activities designed to foster improved user services, coordinating such activities with other appropriate ALA units.
- Representation and interpretation of the role, function, and services of state library agencies, specialized library agencies, aall library cooperatives, and independent librarians within and outside the profession, including contact with national organizations and government agencies.
- Development of policies, studies, and activities in matters affecting state library agencies and all library cooperatives relating to: (a) state and local library legislation, (b) state grants-in-aid and appropriations, and (c) relationships among state, federal, regional and local governments, coordinating such activities with other appropriate ALA units.
- Establishment, evaluation, and promotion of standards and services guidelines relating to the concerns of the association.
- Identifying the library interests and needs of all persons, encouraging the creation of services to meet these needs within the areas of concern of the association, and promoting the use of these services provided by state library agencies, specialized library agencies, all library cooperatives and independent librarians
- Stimulating the professional growth and promoting the specialized training and continuing education of library personnel at all levels in the areas of concern of this association and encouraging membership participation in appropriate type-of-activity divisions within ALA.
- Assisting in the coordination of activities of other units within ALA that have a bearing on the concerns of this association.
- Granting recognition for outstanding library service within the areas of concern of this association.
- Acting as a clearinghouse for the exchange of information and encouraging the development of materials, publications, and research within the areas of concern of this association.